[Tagging] How to tag: public lands that are accessed by permit?

Tod Fitch tod at fitchdesign.com
Wed Jul 20 01:01:35 UTC 2016

> On Jul 19, 2016, at 1:55 PM, Mikael Nordfeldth <mmn at hethane.se> wrote:
> On 2016-07-19 22:38, Tod Fitch wrote:
>> A map for hiking is greatly enhanced by letting its users know, in advance of arriving at the trail head, that there are permits required. Even better if those permits can’t be self-issued at the trail head. The only way to let the end user know about this is to map it and to map it some sort of tagging must be used. Current accepted tagging is insufficient.
> I absolutely think that the tag access=private intuitively sounds like
> you're not allowed to go there. But the description on
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:access states that it's "Only
> with permission of the owner on an individual basis" which is exactly
> how I would interpret "access=permit" as well.
> Given that description however, you are not given information about
> _how_ to get that permit, if possible. So something like a 'permit' key
> would be very useful here! Apparently there was some relation tag
> suggested in 2010:
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Relation:permit
> There has obviously also been discussion on access=license (or licence)
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/License
> From the top of my head I would use something pointing to a URL:
> * access:url=<url>
> * foot:url=<url>
> * foot:permit:url=<url>
> * permit=<url>
> * permit:url=<url>
> or maybe access:description (foot:description etc.) for a direct
> human-readable text.
> Tod: Is there any proposal like this out there. Is the above along the
> lines of how you're thinking we could extend the current tagging scheme?

I do not have a specific scheme in mind and am not aware of previous proposals. My point was to agree with the originator of this thread that the existing tagging conventions seem inadequate.

To me requiring a permit, as opposed to simple permission, implies some sort of formal paperwork and documentation.

Were I to stop at a ranch house and ask for permission to cross their range land it seems very unlikely that they’d have a standardized form and procedures to follow. I’d either be told to get the heck off their land or they’d say “sure, but close the gates behind you so the cattle won’t stray”.

When I get a hiking or camping permit from, say, the US Forest Service it is usually at a “ranger station” with formal procedures to follow and generally a required discussion on current restrictions (no fires, closed areas, etc.) in effect. Also, the forest service office that I need to get a permit from might be many miles away from the trail head. In extreme cases, like the Mt. Whitney trail, I might need to submit an application for a permit long in advance where the winners who are actually issued permits selected months in advance via a random drawing.

Basically very different experiences. It seems we ought to be able to indicate that some way. “access=permit” seems the clearest and shortest for the instance of hiking. But maybe something like “access=private”, “permit=yes”, “permit:url=<url>” would work.

In the crowded beach resort city that I currently live in any resident can get a permit to park for free in the otherwise expensive pay parking near the beaches. This permit needs to be displayed in the car for which it was issued in order to avoid being fined. Should an attempt be made to cover all instances where a formal permit is required? Or let this grow organically where parking permits, vehicle entry permits, etc. are all handled differently. This organic growth of tagging seems to have been the general history of OSM.

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